The former coach of Rita Jeptoo has been charged with doping offences ©Getty Images

Claudio Berardelli, the former coach of banned marathon runner Rita Jeptoo, has been charged with doping offences by a court in Kenya.

The 36-year-old Italian appeared in court with Daniel Cheribo Kiplangat and Stephen Kiplagat Tanui, with the latter a pharmacist in the Kenyan town of Kapsabet.

It was claimed that Berardelli had administered a banned performance enhancing drug to Jeptoo between August and September in 2014.

The three men were accused of giving erythropoietin (EPO) to the runner, who won the Boston Marathon on three occasions.

Tanui was also accused of operating a pharmacy without holding a licence.

The parties have denied the charges with Berardelli ordered to hand in his passport.

The Italian has also been released on a 200,000 Kenyan Shilling  (£1,490/$1,970/€1,790) bail.

"Let's hope we do not waste the careers of upcoming young athletes by exposing their coach to police investigations," Berardelli's lawyer, Julius Kemboy told the court, according to

Jeptoo, one of the most high profile Kenyan athletes to have been hit with a doping ban, has insisted an unknown doctor injected her with prohibited substance EPO, causing her to fail a doping test.

Federico Rosa, who represented Rita Jeptoo, was charged early this month ©Getty Images
Federico Rosa, who represented Rita Jeptoo, was charged early this month ©Getty Images

Berardelli lost his job with Athletics Kenya after Jeptoo’s positive test, in September 2014, but the runner claimed her coach had no involvement.

The case has followed new doping laws having been passed in the African nation earlier this year, in order to address a spate of scandals.

Athletics agent Federico Rosa, who represented Jeptoo, was also charged with doping offences in Kenya earlier this month.

The Italian, who is being probed for "conspiracy to cause injuries to professional athletes through doping", saw a request to have his passport returned blocked by a court in Nairobi, after he provided "insufficient evidence" to support his application.

Along with his father, Gabriele, Rosa was subject to questioning by Kenyan police in connection with an ongoing doping investigation.

Rosa has denied six counts of doping athletes.